Any Palestinian who rises to kill Israelis will be killed first - Gantz

The defense minister emphasized that Israeli forces had full freedom of action in the fight against terrorism.

IDF soldiers operate in the West Bank as part of Operation Break the Wave, September 2022 (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
IDF soldiers operate in the West Bank as part of Operation Break the Wave, September 2022
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz stressed that Israeli forces have arrested and impeded thousands of Palestinian terrorists, as a series of shooting attacks were reported throughout the West Bank on Wednesday and in recent weeks.

"Over the past several months we have apprehended and thwarted over a thousand terrorists," said the defense minister while visiting the IDF's Judea and Samaria Division.

"I spoke with the commanders in the area and conveyed my personal appreciation as well as the appreciation of all Israeli citizens for their operations. I emphasized that our troops have full freedom of action in counterterrorism activities and highlighted the need to operate in a determined, focused and responsible manner in facing complex security challenges. We will operate in a determined manner against terrorism, while preventing harm to the routine lives and economic activities of those who are innocent. 

"We will operate in a determined manner against terrorism, while preventing harm to the routine lives and economic activities of those who are innocent," added Gantz. "It is important to be clear: Anyone who rises to kill us - will not rise. We will put our hands on them - in the depths of the field, on the roads and at the crossings. At all times and at all places."

"It is important to be clear: Anyone who rises to kill us - will not rise."

Defense Minister Benny Gantz

Shooting attacks continue in West Bank

 IDF soldiers at the scene of a shooting attack in Carmel in the southern West Bank, September 19, 2022 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) IDF soldiers at the scene of a shooting attack in Carmel in the southern West Bank, September 19, 2022 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Just hours before Gantz spoke, shots were fired towards Border Police at the Salem Base along the Seam Line. Shortly after he spoke, shots were fired again toward soldiers near the Seam Line near Faqqu'a in the northern West Bank. No injuries were reported in either incident and Israeli forces are searching for the perpetrators.

According to data released by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), there were at least 23 shooting attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem in August, an increase of more than 50% from the 15 that took place in July. In addition, there were 135 Molotov cocktail attacks compared with 75 in July (an 80% increase), and 39 pipe bombs in August vs 27 in July (44% more).

At least 15 Israelis, both civilians and troops, were injured during the attacks in August.

The Israeli military has been conducting nightly operations in the West Bank as part of Operation Break the Wave in an attempt to crack down on Palestinian terrorism in the West Bank, with a focus on the northern West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus.

Over the four months since the operation began, over 2,050 counterterrorism operations were carried out, during which over 2,000 wanted individuals were apprehended and hundreds of weapons seized.